Direct Support Professionals Week

CARING — Direct Support Professionals Week is a nation-wide event to recognize the caregivers who spend their days and nights taking care of those with special needs. Bona Vista Programs Caregiver for the Developmentally Disabled Marty Johnson poses with Suzie S. during a day in Opportunity Knocks! Level 2.

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!

By the time you’re reading this we will be well on our way to recognizing our caregivers for the developmentally disabled (CDD) – aka superheroes – during National Direct Support Professionals Week (Sept. 9-13). While one week will never be enough to show them how appreciated they are, we are going to give it our best shot.

Caregivers at Bona Vista are the heart and soul of the agency. They work tirelessly and relentlessly to make sure the adults in our services receive the best care they can possibly get. Some work days, while others work overnights, weekends, or holidays. They run and run and run on (coffee and) love. They do what they do every single day because they literally love the people we serve like they are their very own family.

This week we are treating our caregivers like the superheroes they are. They may not wear capes (regularly, anyway), but we can tell you that they rush in to save the day for those we serve on a regular basis. They may not leap tall buildings (because that’s a safety issue), but they definitely bend over backwards to make sure the time they have with the adults they care for is meaningful. They may not rush into burning buildings (because that’s what the Kokomo Fire Department is for), but they put out mini “fires” every day when they stop the tears from continuing to come of an adult having a bad day.

The term caregiver will never adequately describe all they do. That’s why we went with superhero this week. We aren’t even sure that quite covers it, to be honest. Sure, they care and they give… but they do so much more than that! One moment they could be transporting individuals home, making meals, assisting with medications, caring for their personal needs, or helping individuals work toward their personal goal.

Another moment they could be planning a community outing, playing video games, cheering on their favorite football team together, or any number of activities our persons served like to do. Regardless, they intentionally make sure that each individual has had a fulfilling day and feels loved and valued.

There will never be sufficient treats, social media posts, or ways for us to show more than 200 superheroes our appreciation. In an effort to try, though, we are celebrating all week with superhero-themed treats! For example, “Donut let anyone tell you that you’re not Incredible” day was Monday (shout out to Dan’s Variety Bakery for the support). Get it – the Incredibles are superheroes? And we gave them donuts? Come on, that was funny, right?

Now that you’re on my level of thinking, hopefully the rest of these will make sense. On Tuesday, we passed out “POW”erade (courtesy of our friends at Kokomo Coca-Cola) and Blow “POP”s (that had capes). On Wednesday we gave them all popcorn as a thanks for “POP”-ing in to save the day and Dasani water (invisible energy).

Thursday is going to be “POW”er pancakes and SUPER Joe (pancake and coffee breakfast – thanks to our friends at WWKI for helping us purchase the supplies needed for this event, and Coffee Junkiez for the caffeine), and Friday we will wrap up the week by saying Cowabunga, Dude! as we pay tribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and deliver pizza for lunch. We appreciate our turtle-y awesome caregivers and can’t thank them enough for all they do!

That won’t nearly be enough to show them all of our love and appreciation, so we will also be doing social media posts featuring a #NotAllSuperHeroesWearCapes theme with some of our CDDs so you can get a chance to meet them. Make sure you look for the posts and give them a big "like" (equal to a thumbs up if you’re on Facebook or

Bona Vista is thankful for each of our Caregivers for the Developmentally Disabled in our programs. It takes exceptional and enthusiastic employees to care for clients with disabilities, and we are lucky enough to have more than 200 of them working to lend a hand in our organization. Our persons served are better because they are there, and they care. We cannot say thank you enough.

If you would like to make a difference and join Bona Vista’s team as a caregiver for the developmentally disabled, please visit www.bonavista.org, call us at 765-457-8273 or check out the Bona Vista Programs Recruiting Facebook page (@bvjobs).